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  • machining copper

    What is a good lube for use on copper? I am going to turn some electrodes and they need a fine finish.

  • #2
    Most generally I use tapping and cutting fluid. The main thing is to keep it lubicated to keep the copper from galling up. As always the setup is the most important in getting the finish(correct rpm,tool geom.,etc,).

    [This message has been edited by threeboys (edited 09-21-2004).]

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    • #3
      Milk is frequently recommended for machining copper.
      Jim H.

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      • #4
        I machined some bullets out of copper some years ago and had good luck using odorless mineral spirits. Kerosene would probably also work. Gave a real nice finish.

        Chris

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        • #5
          Milk. And run it fast otherwise it gums up. If your drilling a hole to be tapped later drill it to the largest allowable size, even a little bigger if you can get away with it. Even with a sharp tap the metal just wants to form and close up behind the tap.

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          • #6
            So 3%, 2%, 1% or 0.5%? Soymilk ok? Makes
            a nice odor after a day or two I suspect.
            Steve
            Steve

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            • #7
              Give a try with pure isopropyl alcohol, available cheap as gas line antifreeze/water remover. Not the methanol type. No mess. NO smoking.
              Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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              • #8
                Now thats got to be a first. Milk??? I get it your dairy farmers by day and closet machinist at night. Thanks and I will give it a try. Good question though from sch , 2% or????

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                • #9
                  I have also heard the milk thing, I just dont wanna deal with the cleanup of it. I usually use kerosene when I machine copper.

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                  • #10
                    oops double post

                    [This message has been edited by mochinist (edited 09-22-2004).]

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                    • #11
                      I would think that whole milk would be best as it has the highest fat content, although the difference is likely imperceptible. No experience, just a guess.

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                      • #12
                        I use mineral spirits with a little cutting oil for drilling copper.
                        Joe W

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                        • #13
                          If you haven't bought material yet, get tellerium copper. The tellerium content is 1% or less IIRC, but it breaks up the copper and keeps it from gumming up the tool. You can turn without coolant, and use standard coolant for drilling, tap magic for tapping. No change in electrode wear vs. "pure" copper for EDM purposes.
                          T2R

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                          • #14
                            Trubble: I will be reworking existing electrodes. They want to use both ends by reworking the collet end. I'm not sure what I'm going to run into yet . The samples should arrive in the next few days and I wanted to be ready. Thats why the post. Brass, alum. and so on I've done but I could never remember doing copper.I have most every type of coolant and cutting oils so needless to say it's going to be trial and error. Not too much in the error department I hope!

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